Standard Chartered breaks new ground with first head of biodiversity


Standard Chartered has taken a key step towards environmental stewardship, announcing the appointment of Oliver Withers as the bank’s first Head of Biodiversity.

This newly created role signifies a noteworthy integration of biodiversity considerations within the banking giant’s business operations and decision-making processes.

The details surrounding this innovative appointment suggest that Withers, with a remarkable track record as Global Head of Biodiversity at Credit Suisse, will bring valuable insights and leadership to his new position. He previously contributed to the development of several groundbreaking projects including the world’s inaugural wildlife conservation bond and sovereign debt for nature swaps.

Standard Chartered’s newest recruit will play a pivotal role in the bank’s endeavour to align its global priority areas – the Blue Economy, Adaptation Finance, Blended Finance, and the Monetisation of Carbon – with biodiversity objectives. Withers will work across the group to facilitate the seamless incorporation of biodiversity aspects into Standard Chartered’s business practices.

Emphasising the significance of Withers’ appointment, Standard Chartered’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Marisa Drew said, “At Standard Chartered, many of our markets contain a wealth of complex and diverse natural capital resources. As part of our sustainability approach, we look forward to playing our part in preserving, restoring and enhancing these precious assets.”

Before joining Credit Suisse, Withers served as Head of Conservation Finance and Enterprise at the Zoological Society of London. The expertise acquired during his tenure there, as well as at Credit Suisse, will be invaluable as Standard Chartered pioneers its biodiversity-centric initiatives.

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